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ERIC Number: EJ1142785
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-May
Pages: 29
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0364-0213
Maternal Socioeconomic Status Influences the Range of Expectations during Language Comprehension in Adulthood
Troyer, Melissa; Borovsky, Arielle
Cognitive Science, v41 suppl 6 p1405-1433 May 2017
In infancy, maternal socioeconomic status (SES) is associated with real-time language processing skills, but whether or not (and if so, how) this relationship carries into adulthood is unknown. We explored the effects of maternal SES in college-aged adults on eye-tracked, spoken sentence comprehension tasks using the visual world paradigm. When sentences ended in highly plausible, expected target nouns (Exp. 1), higher SES was associated with a greater likelihood of considering alternative endings related to the action of the sentence. Moreover, for unexpected sentence endings (Exp. 2), individuals from higher SES backgrounds were sensitive to whether the ending was action-related (plausible) or unrelated (implausible), showing a benefit for plausible endings. Individuals from lower SES backgrounds did not show this advantage. This suggests maternal SES can influence the dynamics of sentence processing even in adulthood, with consequences for processing unexpected content. These findings highlight the importance of early lexical experience for adult language skills.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: F32DC010106; R03DC013638